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And the Spirit Moved Them was written to demonstrate that the true origin of the modern American women’s rights movement was not the Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention of 1848, but the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women held in New York City in 1837. Author Helen LaKelly Hunt gives a fascinating historical account of these early abolitionist suffragists, whose power as reformers and social justice advocates arose through the convergence of various key personalities and events, a common Christian faith and commitment to social justice, and the willingness to join with men who shared their beliefs and core values, to confront and challenge entrenched racial and sexual domination.  Read more
Scholars and informed Christians alike are well aware of Clement of Rome, Saint Augustine, and other “church fathers.” But what about those “church mothers” who likewise contributed to the growth and development of early Christianity? Women, such as Thecla, Perpetua, and Helena Augusta supported monastic communities with financial gifts, engaged in theological discourse and study, and inspired generations of believers with their examples of piety and devotion. Yet, before now, these important women have received relatively little attention from theologians and historians. Fortunately, the authors of this superbly researched study have helped readers better appreciate the importance of notable ancient Christian women, particularly in terms of the ways they shaped Christian belief and practice in the Late Roman Empire. Read more
Ben Witherington III
We in the West live in a world of radical individualism, even narcissistic, self-centered individualism. People tout books by Ayn Rand on "The Virtues of Selfishness." The biblical world prioritized collective or group identity. Group identity was primary; individual identity was secondary. Many misread the New Testament through the lens of late Western individualism, and one of the groups that has most suffered from this sort of misreading is women. This workshop considers the real nature of Greco-Roman and early Jewish culture, and asks and answers how this should change the way we read various passages in the New Testament related to women and their roles. Read more
Throughout history, the apostle Paul has been the most frequently cited authority for restricting women from shared leadership not only in ministry but also in marriage and the world. Sadly, those who cite Paul as an opponent of women's equality overlook the many examples of women leaders building the church beside the apostle, in addition to his theological emphasis on newness of life in Christ. This workshop will show how 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 are eddies off the stream of Paul’s egalitarian teachings and practices. Read more
Ben Witherington III
This lecture examines all the major passages that address women and their roles in the church and in society. Attention is given to the social and rhetorical context of each passage, the exegetical particulars, and the implications for ministry today.  Read more
In short, Bain’s study demonstrates first that studying women in the Hellenistic cultures of the first two centuries AD is more complex than has typically been recognized. Gender is not an isolated indicator of status. Rather, gender, marital status, and socioeconomic status are interwoven. An understanding of women’s religious leadership therefore rests on integrated knowledge of these and other factors. Read more
Lucy Peppiatt
Gary Hoag revisits the topic of wealth in the letter of 1 Timothy, asking whether the teachings found there are consistent or inconsistent with other teachings in the NT, or whether it might be a mixture of the two. Scholars are divided on this question. Hoag’s findings rest on cross-referencing the terms in 1 Timothy with a novel, Ephesiaca by Xenophon of Ephesus. This novel was originally thought to have been written in the 2nd or 3rd century CE, but having been recently codified as an ancient Greek novel of the mid-first century CE, we now know that it was written at the same time as Paul’s ministry as portrayed by Luke in Acts. It’s a valuable source in shedding light on the social setting or Sitz im Leben of the letter, and Hoag studies in particular five passages: 1 Tim 2:9-15; 3:1-13; 6:1-2a; 6:2b-10; 6:17-19. Read more
At last we have a historical analysis worthy of its subject— Katharine Bushnell, who began her career as a missionary doctor in China and went on to become a theologian, missionary and perhaps the most significant gender reformer of her day. Through eight page-turning chapters, Kobes Du Mez introduces Bushnell within the context of American Protestantism where she rises to a “household word” (1). Read more
The bloody tale of Jezebel’s daughter Athaliah’s rise to power has been used as a model to speak out against female leadership. Time and time again I have heard theologians, bloggers, preachers, and teachers refer to Athaliah’s attempt to assassinate her grandchildren to remain in power as clear evidence that women should not be leaders. Athaliah, they assert, is a typical picture of a woman in leadership: power hungry, blood thirsty, and downright unqualified for any leadership position. Read more

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